Athletics New Zealand has a history that deserves to be valued, preserved, and promoted. The Legends section of our website is a key part of the process. It makes available informed biographies of our greatest athletes and coaches in a form readily accessible by all. The texts in Legends are freely available for citation, preferably with the courtesy of acknowledgement.
We will continue to add to this collection, as we fill gaps and add our more recent outstanding Olympic, Paralympic, and World competitors such as Dame Valerie Adams, Peter Martin and Tom Walsh. Legends is offered here in the belief that the achievements of New Zealand’s past are a living part of its present and its future.
Athletics is New Zealand’s most successful Olympic sport, with ten gold medals, and twenty-three medals in all. National pride in that history also embraces the Paralympic medalists in track and field, and the many international victories gained by New Zealand runners and teams in major marathons, road races, cross-country, and mountain running.
No historian of New Zealand’s achievements and culture as a nation could fail to take account of these successes in athletics. They have made a unique contribution to shaping New Zealand as the accomplished, self-confident, and diverse nation it is. In official recognition of that contribution, five of our athletes have been elevated to damehoods or knighthoods, and many more have received public honours.
We invite visitors to this site to relive the achievements of Dr Jack Lovelock, Dame Yvette Williams Corlett, Sir Peter Snell, Sir Murray Halberg, Eve Rimmer BEM, Sir John Walker and many more.
Born: 13 August 1922
Club: Mornington Harrier Club, Olympic Club Wellington, Owairaka Harriers
Born: 6 July 1917
Club: Lyndale Athletics and Harrier Club, Owairaka club
Born: 19 May 1938
Discipline: 80m hurdles, 100 yards
Club: Lynndale Amateur Athletic and Harrier Club, Glen Eden Athletic and Harrier Club, Waitemata and Owairaka Athletic Club
Born: 28 May 1934
Discipline: 880 yards, One Mile, 5000m, 20000m, Marathon
Club: Lynndale Athletic Club
Dame Yvette Corlett (nee Williams)
Born: 25 April 1929
Discipline: Long jump, Javelin, Discus, Shot Put
Club: Otago Athletic Club, Pakuranga Athletics Club
Theodorus Jacobus Leonardus "Dick" Quax
Born: 1 January 1948
Discipline: 1,500m, 5,000m, 10,000m
Club: Auckland University Athletics club
Born: 21 July 1941
Discipline: 100 yards, 100m, 200m
Club: Western Suburbs Athletic & Harrier Club
Discipline: 400m Hurdles, 440 yards
Club: Hamilton Athletic Club, Hawkes Bay Poverty Bay Athletics Club
Sir John Walker
Discipline: 1,500m / Mile, 5,000m
Club: Manurewa Athletic and Harrier Club
Born: 1 November 1934
Discipline: Shot Put, Discus Throw
Club: Western Suburbs Athletic Club
Discipline: 1,500m, 3,000m, 10,000m, Marathon
Club: Putaruru Athletics Club
Marise Ann Millicent Chamberlain
Born: 5 December 1935
Club: Crichton Cobbers Club, Technical Athletic Club
Born: 13 July 1950
Club: Nelson Methodist Harriers, Nelson Amateur Athletics Harrier and Cycling Club